Title : Citrus orchard management
Visit Count : 1078 Time(s)
Upload Date : 4/13/2016 - 2 Year(s) ago
Category : citrus
Wednesday, April 13, 2016
Visit Count : 1078 Time(s)
Upload Date : 4/13/2016 - 2 Year(s) ago
Category : citrus
Site Selection
Fruit trees are perennial crops. For good management and sustained yields, it is very important to select a good site for the orchard.
The annual average temperature is very important. So is the range of variation in temperature during the vegetative growth stage, and the minimum temperature in the coolest month. All these are significant factors which should be considered in site selection. It should be remembered that the optimum temperature range for citrus is between 20oC and 28oC. For citrus, the temperature range for growth is commonly considered to be 13-35°C.
In general, a climate with low rainfall and plenty of sunshine is good for citrus trees. It promotes good flower differentiation, flower and fruit development, and fruit quality. High-rainfall areas are less suitable for citrus. They have a higher pest and disease burden, lower yields and poor fruit quality.
Flowering, pollination and fruit drop are all affected by the wind. Breeze is helpful to promote air flow inside orchards. On the other hand, strong winds, cold winds and sea winds are harmful for the growth of both trees and fruit. Windbreaks, or some other kind of protection against the wind, are essential for orchards in such areas.
Latitude, elevation and slope can all affect the temperature, the rainfall, the level of solar radiation, and the strength and direction of the prevailing wind. All these in turn will affect fruit tree growth, fruit yield and quality. They also affect the way in which orchard operations can be carried out.
Soil and Drainage
Suitable soil texture and structure, water storage and drainage are all crucial for fruit tree growth. Fruit trees can grow and produce well in a wide variety of soil types, except very light, sandy soils and heavy clay soils. In general, most fruit trees prefer the soil pH to be between 5.5 and 6.5..
Before setting up an orchard, growers should try to work out whether it is likely to be profitable. In doing this, they should consider:
• The scale of orchard operations;
• Labor demand, labor cost, and the availability of labor;
• Access to markets and market demand;
• Transportation for harvested fruit, to deliver it to the market or collection center; and,
• The price of the land.
Selecting the Kind of Citrus
When growers decide what citrus varieties to plant, they need to consider the orchard environment, and the market demand for different kinds of citrus fruit. They should also think about what cultivation techniques they plan to use, and the kind of field management. They must be sure that the varieties they choose are suitable for their style of management.
Timing of planting
Bare rooted trees are lifted and planted in late winter or early spring (August-October), when the risk of frost has passed, to minimise stress on the trees. Planting trees in extremely hot, summerweather should be avoided, as high soil temperatures can damage tender young tree roots and dehydrate the tree.
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